Hair stem cell transplantation (cloning of hair)

Researchers in America have succeeded in extracting stem cells from a hair follicle, multiplying them and transplanting the follicles to the scalp where they grow again. And this is just the beginning. 

The stem cell debate comes back regularly. Both opponents and proponents agree that the cloning of stem cells for medical purposes in the near future should be possible. In 2004 researchers managed to clone a mouse hair. According to an article by Noorderlicht:

"Lets wait and see if this is the same in humans and mice." I think clinicians are interested that these populations [stems] can produce hair follicles, "says Fuchs. To put it mildly: it is generally expected that the ultimate hair growth solution will revolutionise the industry and can best be compared to that of the contraceptive pill or Viagra "(Source: Northern, VPRO 2-9-2004,  http://noorderlicht.vpro.nl )

In 2012, in a new study in Japan (Source 4.7) again as in 2004, researchers managed to grow human hair on a mouse. This time, the stem cells were transplanted under the skin of the mouse. What is different from the previous study is that the researchers were able to change the colour of the hair. The hair taken from the mouse grew back in the same colour.

Institutes and universities worldwide have since 2004 (Source: 1,5,6,7) been working on hair stem cell transplants to achieve hair cloning (Source: 5, 6, 7). Here, mice were used in order to perform a number of tests. However, both the American studies in 2004 and 2012 (Source: 1,2,3) and the research of Professor Takashi Tsuji of the University of Tokyo in 2012 (Source 4.7) did not manage to successfully transplant a cloned hair cell onto humans.

"Within the next three years the Japanese hope to test the technique on men. Within ten years, the treatment should be ready for general use but it is not yet clear how long the treatments will last and whether it is safe." Source: Volkskrant 2012. If one of the institutes manages to make human hair stems cell transplants possible then they will open up a market of 10 billion annually (Source: 3,4).

Interesting links:

Dr. Rassman (USA) geeft zijn oordeel over haarstamcel transplantatie:

BaldingBlog - Link 1 - "I believe that what I heard is marketing hype without any evidence of any hairs regrowing."

BaldingBlog - Link 2 - "Finally there are no doctors mentioned on this website that is associated with "research". I find that highly suspect."

Source (Dutch):

  1. http://www.wetenschap24.nl/nieuws/artikelen/2004/september/En-er-was-haa...(september 2004)
  2. http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/apr/17/beauty-stem-cells (april 2011)
  3. http://www.haarconsument.nl/2285/204/follica-haalt-5-5-miljoen-binnen-vo...(januari 2012)
  4. http://www.follicabio.com 
  5. http://www.volkskrant.nl/vk/nl/2672/Wetenschap-Gezondheid/article/detail...(april 2004)
  6. http://www.gizmag.com/adult-stem-cells-hair-restoration-therapy/22228/ (april 2012)
  7. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/9350916/Balding-men-offe...(juni 2012)
  8. Wonderpokon, Ultieme haargroeimiddel komt weer iets dichterbij (maart 2003) http://noorderlicht.vpro.nl
  9. Haarzaad, Cellen zaaien, coupe oogsten (maart 2004) http://noorderlicht.vpro.nl
  10. Alles over stamcellen door Biomedisch.nl (laatst gewijzigd mei 2005) www.biomedisch.nl
  11. Video-interview met Christine Mummery over kaalheid en stamcellen (juni 2005) www.biomedisch.nl
  12. Stichting Voorlichting Stamcellen www.stamcel.org en www.stamcel.org
  13. Wikipedia Stamcel http://nl.wikipedia.org
  14. Hoop voor kale mannen, haarstamcellen op een muis Volkskrant.nl (2012)